India, China to form Joint Study Group on economic cooperation

Wednesday, 25 June 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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BEIJING: India and China will form a Joint Study Group of economists and officials to review collaboration, identify new areas of promise and draw up a comprehensive perspective for multifaceted economic interaction, Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee announced here Tuesday.

Addressing businessmen of both countries, Vajpayee said the two governments had decided to elevate economic cooperation to greater heights because the leadership of the two countries believes in the "huge potential" for economic and commercial cooperation.

"We are committed to create conditions which would facilitate the rapid growth of this cooperation. This provides a strong political underpinning to your endeavours," the prime minister told the packed hall of Beijing Hotel where a leading Chinese businessman, while welcoming Vajpayee, talked about an old Chinese saying that "a good neighbour is better than a distant relative".

Vajpayee, while noting the rapid growth in trade, said bilateral investments had just started picking up. There are about 15 Chinese companies in India and 71 projects set up by Indian firms in China.

"Although the net investment figures are not as yet very large, the symbolism of two of the largest developing countries investing in each other's economies is important," he said.

He said his talks with the Chinese had been excellent. "They have confirmed that the desire to build stable, enduring and forward-looking ties of friendship is shared by the highest political levels in both countries."
Source: IANS
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